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In Seiko’s latest release of their PADI models for 2021, we see a brand new design language conveying a notably more sleek appearance compared to previous iterations that carried a bright pop of blue and red. While fundamentally still a Seiko Prospex Samurai at its core, this new PADI special edition of the Samurai incorporates an avant-garde dial pattern and the brilliant use of colour to add a great deal of character to this beautiful beast.
With over half a century of expertise in producing professional dive watches, illustrious Japanese watch manufacturer Seiko understood the integral elements to construct tried-and-true dependable diving tool watches. Seiko’s “Professional Specifications” line, otherwise known as Prospex, consists of a family of ISO-certified diving watches with a minimum water resistance rating of 200m. Over the years, Seiko continued to dedicate themselves to producing astonishing timepieces with incredible performance and innovative features. Many of these watches have grown to be an icon well-loved by many in the watch world, as well as countless professional divers around the world.
|Seiko Prospex PADI Samurai 200M Automatic - Special Edition Ref. SBDY095 / SRPG21|
In the pursuit of further connecting with dive professionals, Seiko announced their partnership with PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors), the world’s largest diving network with more than 136,000 individual PADI professionals who have issued 25 million certificates around the world. To celebrate this historic partnership, Seiko established a special range of dive watches under the Prospex line distinguished with its distinct PADI logo etched on the dial.
Based on the highly distinguished Seiko Samurai, the iconic design of the Seiko Prospex PADI Samurai 200M - Special Edition Ref. SBDY095 is no stranger to the masses. Just like the hefty Karuta armor donned by Japanese Samurai warriors, the angular 43.8mm case of the SBDY081 bears a beefy and aggressive presence. Despite the rather large diameter, the watch sits flush on most wrist sizes due to its compact lug to lug distance of 48.7mm and thickness of 12.8mm, wearing closer to 42mm.
Caliber 4R35 Seiko Automatic
Other than a polished portion on the left side of the case and underside of the lugs, the case displays satin brushing throughout. Sharp and defined lines certainly gives the piece a unique character, setting itself apart from many diver’s watches. The pointed crown guards protect the knurled screw-down crown at the 3 o’clock position which equips this piece with a capable 200m of ISO-rated water resistance, making it a perfect companion to bring with you for diving adventures. This level of water resistance is also achieved as a result of the screw-in case back which reveals the engraving of “Special Edition” and Seiko’s signature Tsunami logo, a mark signifying the watch’s competency as a professional ISO-rated Prospex diver.
One of the key traits that differentiates itself from the Seiko Samurai lies in the bezel of this piece. The Prospex PADI Samurai 200M - Special Edition Ref. SBDY095 houses a jet black ceramic bezel with stealthy grey markers, offering incredible resistance against scratches. Having the first 15 minute markers filled with a cool cerulean blue treatment, the attractive dash of colour adds a unique yet striking character to the bezel while being incredibly practical underwater. This 120-click unidirectional rotating dive bezel gorgeously catches the light with a glossy shine, presenting a grandeur look that is simply pleasing to look at from various angles.
|Samurai's iconic facetted case design|
Naturally, the star of the show here is definitely the astonishing dial pattern of the Prospex PADI Samurai 200M - Special Edition Ref. SBDY095, incorporating well-defined intersecting lines producing a globe-like design on its matte black dial. Despite its intricacy, Seiko manages to achieve a high level of detail in its crispy white text printing, showing off a top-notch dial work. Just like the attractive blue present on the bezel, the minute hand is treated with a similar hue of blue to complete the overall look, pulling off a well-balanced design that incorporates the perfect amount of flair.
Customary to the Seiko’s Prospex dive watches, the prominent handsets and markers are treated with Seiko’s proprietary LumiBrite lume, glowing exceptionally bright in dark lighting conditions. On top of that, the dial is protected by a flat piece of scratch-resistant anti-reflective sapphire crystal with a date magnifier at the 3 o’clock position. To finish off the whole dive watch experience, the watch comes supplied with a soft and supple black 22mm Seiko silicone rubber diver strap.
The Prospex PADI Samurai 200M - Special Edition Ref. SBDY095 is driven by the Seiko in-house caliber 4R35 automatic movement, a notable upgrade from the previous caliber 7S family of movements that were lacking in handwinding and hacking capabilities. This 23 jewel movement features a healthy power reserve of approximately 41 hours and beats at a rate of 21,600 beats per hour. Widely recognized as one of a ‘workhorse’ movement, the 4R35 boasts remarkable robustness from the proprietary Diashock anti-shock system and has a reputation to run reliably for an extended period of time without a service.
This year’s release of Seiko’s PADI models truly brought some welcoming updates in both style and specifications, bringing us a modern tool watch that looks understated, unique and exceedingly stylish. Although distinctly different from previous PADI releases, the stealthy look of the Prospex PADI Samurai 200M - Special Edition Ref. SBDY095 is certainly alluring, combining a clever use of lines and gentle curves throughout the piece - a truly impressive offering for both the professional diver and the modern watch connoisseur.